Television is that wonderful invention that was created nearly 90 years ago when a Scottish engineer and inventor by the name of John Logie Baird unveiled the world’s first working television system in Hastings, England in 1923. The system was successful enough that it became commercialized with the BBC using this system and beginning the world’s first regular television broadcasts in 1929.
On this side of the Atlantic, Philo Farnsworth was working on similar ideas, demonstrating his first television in 1927, but it wasn’t until 1939 when RCA began the first commercial and public television broadcasts using his system.
One could easily state that the BBC and American television broadcasters have been competing with each other ever since; and both sides could easily claim victory over the other in terms of their own unique brands of programming.
But what has become abundantly clear, or at least clear to my eyes, is that we here in the States have a lot that we could learn from our counterparts in the “old country”. After all, who produced the longest-running sci-fi series of all time? That would be the BBC and the series in question is, of course, Doctor Who.
An easy argument to make is that some of the best programming has come from the BBC. It is also obvious that the TV landscape here in America, over the decades, has clearly shown that we have done more to copy-cat programming by the BBC than vice versa. The only exception to that statement is the fact the BBC has, for the first time, created a UK based series out of an American TV franchise. That series is Law & Order: UK, which has been on the air since last year both in its homeland and here in the states courtesy of BBC America.
Two other examples of incredible, thought-provoking and challenging programs from the BBC are the BBC America 6-part mini-series Luther, which starred Idris Elba and the 3-part mini-series Sherlock, which starred newcomer Benedict Cumberbatch and beloved British actor Martin Freeman.
Both of these mini-series aired over the last couple of months here in the States and both were simply amazing to behold. Were they dark and twisted? Yes. Were the stories multi-layered with fabulous performances by the cast? Absolutely! Each mini-series was like watching a show created by Joss Whedon, J.J. Abrams and David E. Kelley combined.
Perhaps as time goes on, the BBC may find other American shows to emulate but I have a strong feeling that we will continue to copy-cat their programming more than the reverse.
Artist’s Spotlight: This month’s artist’s spotlight is shown on Heather V. Kreiter, who has been working professionally for over 10 years in the CCG/RPG industry. She has created artwork for games such as World of Darkness and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle by White Wolf and Legend of the Five Rings, Thunderstone and Phase by AEG. She is an old-school type of girl in that she only works in traditional mediums, either oils on gessoed watercolor paper or markers and colored pencil on watercolor paper.
Heather’s interest in the fantastical was ignited when she saw the art that was being created for the Dragonlance saga. She loved the books and the art that was associated with them, making her fall in love with the genre. She was drawn to the oil paintings that were created by artists such as Larry Elmore, Clyde Caldwell and Fred Fields.
Her sample piece called Electro Cutie is part of her “My Little Demon” collection, which is inspired by the fact she is a collector of My Little Pony collectibles. She has been fascinated with these collectible since she was a child, drawing them all the time until she was teased mercilessly by a boy in school. Because of that unfortunate incident, she stopped collecting and drawing ponies all together.
But 20 years later, when the G3 line of ponies were released, she was “in heaven” and began collecting again, bringing her young daughter along for the ride. Her My Little Demons are a result of a small child’s 25 year repressed love for ponies. Most of her art can be considered either fantasy or horror illustration, as she prefers working on strange beasties, faeries, angels, vampires, ghosts, spirits, ghouls, and of course, Demon Ponies.
You can learn more about Heather V. Kreiter through her website or you can visit her DeviantArt account (ShamanSoulStudios) or “like” her personal and art pages at Facebook (Heather V. Kreiter or My Little Demon). You can also email her at email@example.com.